“Shunned by everyone for being the son of an evil warlord, a teenager seeks to defeat him with the help of his fellow ninjas.”
When it comes to anything with Lego’s I am all about it. Who doesn’t love Lego’s? We all grew up with them – some of us even still play with them. Lego’s are timeless, and they continue to improve them and keep them relevant year after year.
The premise of THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE centers around a father and son story. Garmadon, voiced by Justin Theroux, is an evil warlord and the father of Lloyd, voiced by Dave Franco. The little town of Ninjago is terrorized by Garmadon and Lloyd is terrorized by the townsfolk because they know he is his father. Lloyd is torn by wanting to win over his father’s love by being a good son but also by keeping the city safe by his hidden identity as the Green Ninja that keeps the city safe with his fellow ninja friends (who all have cool Lego fighting machines based on the elements).
The film is fun, as is all other Lego films, but I do feel this movie falls a bit short. It begins with real life actors as a young kid stumbles into an old antique shop owned by Mister Liu played by Jackie Chan. As the young boy is hiding from other kids who bully him, Mr. Liu begins to tell him the story of Lloyd and the town of Ninjago. It’s almost tongue and cheek as it focuses a lot on the father / son relationship, which is really the best part of the film, and less on the ninja aspects. The ninja action is great but I wish it was more about Lloyd and his ninja friends and how they became ninjas.
With that said, I think that may be the underlying issue with the film. Yes, it’s Lego. Yes, it’s fun! Yes, it’s an hour and 45 minutes. But that’s the thing, most of the characters are voiced by well known American actors so it’s hard to see it as a “ninja” movie, per se. The acting was good, no doubt, and the animation was wonderfully fun and creative, I just wanted a bit more authenticity. Either way, kids will enjoy it, it’s a good and fun family film – something to watch over the holidays.